User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 96

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    240

    Default Poetry, it's meaning and intepretation.

    Well I studied a lot of poetry in high school and the teacher would find all these abstract connections and realize small details about a poem that are so abstract.

    I was wondering when these poets write them do they actually incorporate all these different meanings to it? Or does everyone have a different interpretation to these poems? Like when a teacher goes 'Robert Frost has clever done.....' I think to myself 'did Robert Frost really do that on purpose'?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Catoptric Cistula's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sp
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Most likely much of it has multiple meaning when being incorporated into word format. If anything abstract is being conceived it is often due to disparate meaning, attempting to form a cohesive basis for reality. At least that has been the case with anything I write.

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    3,938

    Default

    There are different ways to come at this. For instance, there are many different forms of literary criticism and interpretation. New Criticism (because it was new once...) basically looks at a work only on the basis of close reading/analysis of the text itself, without incorporating societal influences, the influence of the poet's life, etc. Freudian criticism, feminist cricitism, etc speak for themselves.

    I write poetry, and read it extensively, and I can confirm that it tends to encapsulate a multiplicity of meanings, literal and figurative, etc etc. Often these don't really emerge for me until the poem is more or less complete (I mean, poems that I am writing myself.) It is truly an unconscious process in many ways. But the meanings are there. Sometimes I might more or less consciously incorporate references to other writers I admire, sometimes they slip in but it's basically unconscious. Etc. I think this is more or less the process of many poets. Often while writing poetry, what is going on off-stage is more important than what you are consciously doing. (Although you can tweak it later! Especially with the structure and interplay of the words. I'm thinking more of meanings on the unconscious level.)

    A lot of people unfortunately say that they're put off poetry by the way they have to study it. They don't like the over-analysis. I think that's a shame. For me, to really enjoy poetry you need to strike a balance between learning to analyze/unpack a poem - because then you will get much more out of it, even if interpretations vary - and simply coming at it enthusiastically and enjoying the possibilities of language. I had the advantage of loving literature already but in uni I had some excellent instructors who took this sort of combined approach to reading poetry.
    Female
    INFJ
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


    I DOORSLAMMING

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    240

    Default

    So it must come naturally.

    I have to do a poem for an assignment and I want to really push myself and get a really good work for my piece of work. But I just can't do it. Like if I write something it'll be too introverted like something only I'll understand. Like I want to write shit that has to be analyzed to gain meaning but I also want to make it so people can think about it and then be like 'Ahhhhh I get it' kinda shit.


    I always wonder if the poet meant a whole new thing from what people interpret.

  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    3,938

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Illmatic View Post
    So it must come naturally.

    I have to do a poem for an assignment and I want to really push myself and get a really good work for my piece of work. But I just can't do it. Like if I write something it'll be too introverted like something only I'll understand. Like I want to write shit that has to be analyzed to gain meaning but I also want to make it so people can think about it and then be like 'Ahhhhh I get it' kinda shit.


    I always wonder if the poet meant a whole new thing from what people interpret.
    Sometimes the poet actually tells people what they meant, so that spells it out a bit more. But...I have also had others look at my poems and comment on them. Sometimes they'll say "well, it seems like this" and I know that's really not implicit in the poem, at all, from my perspective. But maybe I can see why they would think that, and that's interesting too. Other times, I'll be like "well, that intention wasn't there...but yes, I think some of that must have come through from me unconsciously." And maybe I didn't even notice it till then. It's fascinating.

    Do you have an assigned topic for the poem? (even a vague one - ie. "relationships", "cities", etc.) If not, perhaps try to assign yourself one and work from there - like, decide to write about a place that you love or are interested in, and take it from there. Or just start writing, whatever comes to mind, and even if you think it's crap at first, you will have something to work with, to go on. You can take a few good bits, or tweak what you have.

    Also, I think reading great poetry is so essential to writing your own. Try the likes of W B Yeats, Keats, T S Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, etc. It might get something flowing. But I speak as someone who really loves poetry, I admit.
    Female
    INFJ
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


    I DOORSLAMMING

  6. #6
    morose bourgeoisie
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,860

    Default

    I don't want to interpret poetry. I want to just experience it.
    I have studied music theory, counterpoint, all of that, and it's hard not to let that knowledge get in the way sometimes. I don't want to analyze everything like that. It takes from the magic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    enfp
    Enneagram
    6w7 sp/sx
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    6,747

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Illmatic View Post
    Well I studied a lot of poetry in high school and the teacher would find all these abstract connections and realize small details about a poem that are so abstract.

    I was wondering when these poets write them do they actually incorporate all these different meanings to it? Or does everyone have a different interpretation to these poems? Like when a teacher goes 'Robert Frost has clever done.....' I think to myself 'did Robert Frost really do that on purpose'?
    Well, I think the art in some poetry is to leave a lot of the meaning up to the reader's imagination. So that the reader can be interactive with the poem and apply their own thoughts. "Thought provoking." I think that to some extent, poets are aware of many potential interpretations of their own words, despite the original meaning. Can be open ended and vague while still being beautiful. That's the art.

    (Nice for the teacher to add her own opinions, but given the above, probably better to leave that up to the student.)
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    3,938

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    I don't want to interpret poetry. I want to just experience it.
    I have studied music theory, counterpoint, all of that, and it's hard not to let that knowledge get in the way sometimes. I don't want to analyze everything like that. It takes from the magic.
    I genuinely believe, though, that some knowledge of the technique, intention, context, etc behind art will almost always enhance enjoyment. Maybe it has to be something you're passionate about and then it just kind of becomes integrated, almost seamlessly. Maybe it's about getting the balance right.

    I just know that with poetry I'm grateful that I have a bit of an instinct (an "instinct" which was at least partly learned) for interpreting, because it adds a lot. Music perhaps provides more direct access, in a sense, than poetry. Most often, people say to me "Oh...it would be nice to enjoy poetry, but I don't understand it, so I don't try." The end. A real shame.
    Female
    INFJ
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


    I DOORSLAMMING

  9. #9
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,052

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    I don't want to interpret poetry. I want to just experience it.
    ...
    I don't want to analyze everything like that. It takes from the magic.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I genuinely believe, though, that some knowledge of the technique, intention, context, etc behind art will almost always enhance enjoyment.
    A child approaches
    The beautiful whole

    In time
    it
    is
    split
    and only pieces

    Atoms appeal
    And how they assemble
    And how the assemblies assemble

    Mind eventually puts it all back together
    Integration is understood
    Mind beholds the beauty

    But in the heart
    A child approaches once again

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Illmatic View Post
    Well I studied a lot of poetry in high school and the teacher would find all these abstract connections and realize small details about a poem that are so abstract.

    I was wondering when these poets write them do they actually incorporate all these different meanings to it? Or does everyone have a different interpretation to these poems? Like when a teacher goes 'Robert Frost has clever done.....' I think to myself 'did Robert Frost really do that on purpose'?
    It is sooooo subjectively interpreted. Unless a poet is part of a well-publicized movement or deeply involved in a well-publicized philosophy that they are highly vocal about, or specifically allude to their own work(s) as meaning >this thing here< anyone claiming to have a monopoly on the veracity of a poem's meaning is full of shite. I'm a poet and everything I write is so tinted with personal meaning that I'd laugh at the idea of some "scholar" setting down the law of interpretation on my work long after I'm dead and gone. Which is not to say that I have a problem with anyone reading my work and getting something different from it. Such is the eternal relevance of producing and consuming art etc. etc.

    I know academic institutions have to start somewhere when introducing students to poetry and interpretation, and chances are they'll have more historical and biographical knowledge on the author than the students --so I get that... but why some professors or anthological resources insist on a particular interpretation of a specific poem, or a specific line which can never be completely definitive, is beyond me.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-06-2016, 07:37 AM
  2. Poetry of the Depressed and Existentially Challenged
    By Anja in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-11-2014, 05:47 AM
  3. random question because it's thursday and I'm curious
    By prplchknz in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-04-2011, 01:44 AM
  4. So unpopular it becomes popular and other political quirks
    By Survive & Stay Free in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2010, 06:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO